In 1984, a combat training school for Latin American soldiers known as the School of the Americas (SOA) was established (Currently named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). It has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers and continues its training programs today. Many graduates have used their acquired skills to target educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders and people who work for equal rights of the poor. Over the years, the deaths of thousands of Latin Americans have been attributed to SOA graduates.
There is hope to stop the atrocities associated with this school. On November 4, 2011, Representative James McGovern reintroduced the Latin America Military Training Review Act as HR 3368. The legislation is intended to cease all activities in the School and conduct investigations into the claims of torture trainings and Human Rights abuses taught in the school. There are 22 original cosponsors on the legislation. Show your support for this bill. Contact your Representative and ask her/him to cosponsor the legislation. See our ACTION ALERT.